Here's The Real Story Of Where 'OK' Comes From

"OK" is certainly one of the most common expressions in the English language--and one of the most versatile. After all, it can be used as an adjective, a noun, and a verb.

But what do the letters in OK stand for? And where did the expression come from in the first place?

Over the years, a variety of explanations have been offered. Some have argued that OK came from the Native American Indian tribe Choctaw's word "okeh." Others have suggested it came from a word in the Wolof language of Sub-Saharan Africa.

But a new article published in Smithsonian magazine maintains that OK has its origins in early 19th Century Boston--a time when it was trendy for writers to use playful abbreviations. According to the article, celebrated etymologist Dr. Allen Walker Read (1906-2002) argued that OK first appeared as an abbreviation for "Oll Korrect" in a satirical piece on grammar that was published in the Boston Morning Post in 1839.

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